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OpenNMS Logo.png
Developer(s)The Order of the Green Polo
The OpenNMS Group
Stable release
29.0.1 (codename Emu)[1] / November 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeNetwork management System administration

OpenNMS is a free and open-source enterprise grade network monitoring and network management platform. It is developed and supported by a community of users and developers and by the OpenNMS Group, offering commercial services, training and support.

The goal is for OpenNMS to be a truly distributed, scalable management application platform for all aspects of the FCAPS network management model while remaining 100% free and open source. Currently the focus is on Fault and Performance Management.

All code associated with the project is available under the Affero General Public License.

The OpenNMS Project is maintained by The Order of the Green Polo.


The OpenNMS Project was started in July, 1999 by Steve Giles, Brian Weaver and Luke Rindfuss and their company PlatformWorks.[2] It was registered as project 4141 on Sourceforge in March 2000.[3][4]

On September 28, 2000, PlatformWorks was acquired by Atipa, a Kansas City-based competitor to VA Linux Systems.[5] In July 2001, Atipa changed its name to Oculan.[6]

In September 2002, Oculan decided to stop supporting the OpenNMS project. Tarus Balog, then an Oculan employee, left the company to continue to focus on the project.[7]

In September 2004, The OpenNMS Group was started by Balog, Matt Brozowski and David Hustace to provide a commercial services and support business around the project. Shortly after that, The Order of the Green Polo (OGP) was founded to manage the OpenNMS Project itself.[8] While many members of the OGP are also employees of The OpenNMS Group, it remains a separate organization.

Platform support and requirements[edit]

OpenNMS is written in Java, and thus can run on any platform with support for a Java SDK version 8 or higher.[9] Precompiled binaries are available for most Linux distributions, Windows, Solaris and OS X.

In addition to Java, it requires the PostgreSQL database, although work is being done to make the application database independent by leveraging the Hibernate project.


OpenNMS describes itself as a "network management application platform".[10] While useful when first installed, the software was designed to be highly customizable to work in a wide variety of network environments.

There are four main functional areas of OpenNMS.

Event Management and Notifications[edit]

OpenNMS is based around a "publish and subscribe" message bus. Processes within the software can publish events, and other processes can subscribe to them. In addition, OpenNMS can receive events in the form of SNMP Traps, syslog messages, TL/1 events or custom messages sent as XML to port 5817.

Events can be configured to generate alarms.[11] While events represent a history of information from the network, alarms can be used to create correlation workflow (resolving "down" alarms when matching "up" alarms are created) and performing "event reduction" by representing multiple, identical events as a single alarm with a counter. Alarms can also generate events of their own, such as when an alarm is escalated in severity. Alarms clear from the system over time, unlike events that persist as long as desired.

The Alarm subsystem can also integrate with a variety of trouble ticketing systems, such as Request Tracker, OTRS, Jira, Quickbase and Concursive.

The software also contains an Event Translator where incoming events can be augmented with additional data (such as the impact to customers) and turned into new events.[12]

Events can generate notifications via e-mail, SMS, XMPP and custom notification methods.

OpenNMS has been shown to be able to process 125,000 syslog messages per minute, continuously.[13]

Discovery and Provisioning[edit]

OpenNMS contains an advanced provisioning system for adding devices to the management system. This process can occur automatically by submitting a list or range of IP addresses to the system (both IPv4 and IPv6). Devices can also be expressly added to the system.

The underlying technology for this configuration is XML, so users can either use the web-based user interface or they can automate the process by scripting the creation of the XML configuration files.

The provisioning system contains adapters to integrate with other processes within the application and to external software, such as a Dynamic DNS server and RANCID.

The provisioning process is asynchronous for scalability, and has been shown to provision networks of more than 50,000 discrete devices and to networks of single devices with over 200,000 virtual interfaces, each (Juniper E320).[14]

Service Monitoring[edit]

The service assurance features of OpenNMS allow for the availability of network-based services to be determined. The types of monitors span from the very simple (ICMP pings, TCP port checks) to the complex (Page Sequence Monitoring,[15] Mail Transport Monitor[16]). Outage information is stored in the database and can be used to generate availability reports.

In addition to being able to monitor network services from the point of view of the OpenNMS server, remote pollers can be deployed to measure availability from distant locations.

Papa John's Pizza uses the OpenNMS remote poller software in each of its nearly 3000 retail stores to measure the availability of centralized network resources.[17]

Data Collection[edit]

Performance data collection exists in OpenNMS for a number of network protocols including SNMP, HTTP, JMX, WMI, XMP, XML, NSClient, and JDBC. Data can be collected, stored, graphed and checked against thresholds.

The process is highly scalable, and one instance of OpenNMS is collecting 1.2 million data points via SNMP every five minutes.[18]

Additional Features[edit]

OpenNMS is accessed via a web-based user interface built on Jetty. An integration with JasperReports creates high level reports from the database and collected performance data.


  • 2015 Infoworld Best of Open Source (BOSSIE) [19]
  • 2010 Infoworld Best of Open Source (BOSSIE)[20]
  • 2010 June, Sourceforge Project of the Month[18]
  • 2009 Infoworld Best of Open Source (BOSSIE)[21]
  • 2008 Techtarget Product Excellence Bronze Award in the Applications and network management category[22]
  • 2007 Techtarget Product Excellence Gold Award in the Network and IT management platforms category,[23] beating out HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli.
  • 2006 LinuxWorld Expo Product Excellence Award in the Systems Management Tools category.[24][25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "OpenNMS Horizon 29.0.1 (Emu)". OpenNMS on GitHub. 19 November 2021. Archived from the original on 22 November 2021. Horizon 29.0.1 is a quick release outside of the normal schedule to address some bugs found in 29.0.0 mostly related to running as non-root, and Minion communication.
  2. ^ "PlatformWorks: Private Company Information - Businessweek". 2000-09-28. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  3. ^ "Adventures in Open Source » Blog Archive » Open10MS: Still Open … Still Free". 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  4. ^ "Project of the Month, June 2010 OpenNMS". Sourceforge. 1 June 2010. Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2018. OpenNMS was registered on SourceForge in March of 2000 as project 4141, about two months after NetSaint which later became Nagios. So it has been around for while, almost longer than any other open source management tool.
  5. ^ ""Bluebird" sings to Linux seller Atipa - CNET News". Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  6. ^ HighBeam
  7. ^ "Adventures in Open Source » Blog Archive » Copyright Changes". 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  8. ^ The Order of the Green Polo
  9. ^ "Installation Guide". OpenNMS. 2021-05-12. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  10. ^ "The OpenNMS Project". Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  11. ^ "Alarms - OpenNMS | The OpenNMS Project". OpenNMS. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Event Translator - OpenNMS | The OpenNMS Project". OpenNMS. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Adventures in Open Source » Blog Archive » 2010 Dev-Jam – Day Five". 30 July 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  14. ^ [1] Archived September 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Page Sequence Monitor (PSM) Setup - OpenNMS | The OpenNMS Project". OpenNMS. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  16. ^ "Mail Transport Monitor - OpenNMS | The OpenNMS Project". OpenNMS. 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  17. ^ "Adventures in Open Source » Blog Archive » Using OpenNMS Remote Monitor for Remote Polling". 2010-09-16. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  18. ^ a b "SourceForge Community Blog | Project of the Month, June 2010". 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  19. ^ "Best of Open Source Software Awards 2015". InfoWorld.
  20. ^ "Best of Open Source Software Awards 2010". InfoWorld.
  21. ^ "Best of Open Source Software Awards 2009". InfoWorld.
  22. ^ "Product Leadership Awards 2008: Applications and network management". SearchNetworking.
  23. ^ "Product Leadership Awards 2007: Network and IT management platforms". SearchNetworking.
  24. ^ "LinuxWorld Product Excellence Awards Presented in SF". 2005-08-11. Retrieved 2006-11-14.
  25. ^ Mike Sponseller (2005-08-01). "LinuxWorld Conference & Expo Names Finalists for Product Excellence Awards". LinuxWorld Conference & Expo. Retrieved 2006-11-14.

External links[edit]